Times 28133 – I got it all backwards!

Time: 52 minutes
Music: Sibelius: Four Legends, Gothenburg Symphony, Jarvi

I was not very much on the wavelength, but fortunately had enough UK knowledge to biff payslip and see what was going on with the Norfolk clue.   The setter did a good job of hiding the literals, and many of the answers were at least somewhat unexpected.    If you were bold, and were able biff the long ones like roaming charges and backseat driver, you might have come up with a pretty decent time.     The SNITCH is at 102, which is only moderate for a Friday, but solvers seem to be all over the place – either you got it, or you didn’t.   Not knowing one or two crucial things could make for a DNF.

1 Take out something from palm (4)
DATE – Double definition, a tough one.
3 Norfolk society may be so liberal (5-5)
BROAD-BASED – An allusive hint, referring to the famous Broads of Norfolk.
10 Bipolar shift sees drop in hot water, up to a point (7)
11 Shopping centre closing early in a rural area (7)
ARCADIA –  ARCAD[e] I’ A.   The daily puzzle doesn’t usually use i’ for in, but it is common in Mephisto.
12 Making strokes with new cue, most important pool accessory? (8,7)
13 Seeds pasted by finalist in Miami wearing trendy cap back-to-front (6)
TAHINI –  [miam]I + IN + HAT, all backwards.
14 California guys perhaps tucking into healthy fibre (8)
17 Show auto initially entering, not fully charged (8)
18 Reckons to drink tot first (4,2)
21 Line up at wall, every aide being reassigned (8,7)
23 Enjoying short-term popularity after setback, government intervening between Brussels and Stormont? (2,5)
IN VOGUE – E.U.(GOV)N.I, all backwards.   Stornmont is the seat of government in Northern Ireland.
24 Distinctive non-clerical records recalled (7)
SPECIAL –  LAIC EPS, all backwards.
25 Big fish cooked on gas with milk around noon (4,6)
KING SALMON – Anagram of ON GAS + MILK around N.
26 A penny for criminal in US (4)
1 Bound to accept gift put up as pledge (7)
DEPOSIT – TI(SOP)ED, all backwards.
2 Polluted pool I abandoned (9)
TARNISHED – TARN I SHED, a bit of a chestnut.
4 Give way regarding period of abstinence (6)
RELENT – RE + LENT, the only write-in for me.
5 Lawless chief gripped by terror after beheading (8)
6 Defenders scoff — club know-all offering unsolicited directions (8,6)
7 Miserable dwelling with no floor for holy man (5)
8 Set up party eschewing leadership, in a manner of speaking (7)
DIALECT –  LAID backwards + [s]ECT.
9 When abroad, you may find these dear children abandoned by nanny? (7,7)
ROAMING CHARGES – Double definition, one jocular.
15 Former Welsh rite recreated (9)
16 This place — and others surrounding — is heavenly (8)
17 Reserve selection that may be used to gain a foothold (3,4)
ICE PICK – ICE + PICK, in entirely different senses.
19 Breakdown of wages offers hollow tribute when service is deducted (7)
PAYSLIP – PAYS LIP [service], a UK-centric word that overseas solvers may not know.   We have paystubs here in the USA.
20 I’ll leave fast food firm, having painted wall (6)
22 Tricky number three left out of team (5)

74 comments on “Times 28133 – I got it all backwards!”

  1. Not my finest hour. Started as normal pace with FOI DATE straightaway and made reasonable progress, but ground to a halt in the NW corner. Eventually at around 48m, took a break to go for a morning walk with my friend Amelia. Spent the first 15 mins of this discussing a couple of the unsolved clues (Amelia isn’t a seasoned solver, and wasn’t really contributing helpfully), getting SADHU then BROAD-BASED during this time.

    Arriving back home, I found the grid unlocked with remaining clues pretty much write-ins, checked for typos, and submitted…
    …ugh! I’d entered SUMS UP for 18a early in the solve, leaving BACKSEAT U-I-E- for 6d. The only word I could fathom that fitted the grid and matched “club” was UNITED. Feeling pretty foolish, because DRIVER was so obvious it should have triggered me to revisit 18a – but for some reason it didn’t.

    Keeping up the venerable tradition of Failure Fridays, even when the difficulty doesn’t demand it. Thanks blogger and setter.

    1. (By the way, I am somewhat consoled by being the first commenter on today’s blog. Yay!) (Yes, I am that shallow)

      Edited at 2021-11-12 01:32 pm (UTC)

        1. In the late 90s I was a compulsive reader of the notorious f**kedcompany dot com website, where competition for first comment post was super-intense and obsessive.

          Literally ever since then I’ve wanted to achieve that accolade, and I’ve been thwarted a zillion times.

          Today was my day, and It’s awesome!

          Best wishes, Denise

  2. Good for me for a Friday. There were some write-ins and some that fell into place from the wordplay. After 43 minutes I was all done apart from 8dn and 26ac. Was inclined to give up but instead took a break. When I came back to it, an alphabet trawl led me to ‘perp’ (I had parsed it but couldn’t see what three letter word stood for ‘a’.) The final clue came straightaway.

    COD to perp. Only heard the word recently so was pleased to remember it.

    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

    On a technical note, I can’t see any comments today. I’m sure I’m not the first.

  3. 31.52. I thought this was a very good puzzle which gave me a really testing workout without being impossible. I liked parboil and line up for elevated railway.
  4. I’ve taken a new approach to starting the crossword by first looking at the top across clues and the leftmost down clues on the basis that they give you first letters to go on. Today this gave me a 50% success rate with DATE and ICE PICK and the rest flowed from there.

    Thanks for the rare Friday blog vinyl. The SNITCH appears to be broken at the moment, stuck on the first 14 solvers. I’m sure starstruck_au will do his magic at some point.

    1. Yes, sorry about that. Another login problem that will require investigation (hopefully sometime over the coming weekend).
      1. It may be The Times site at fault (surely not, they cry!). It’s asking me to log in continuously even though I am logged in.
        1. I agree. I’m getting that issue all the time too. I’ve managed to get it to work on Edge browser by clearing cookies. It started a couple of days ago and affected Edge and Firefox, but not the ipad app, although someone has now reported the ipad app is affected too. I got it to work on Chrome thismorning before I got Edge to work.
          1. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that sometimes when the site gets updated the use of cookies changes and that can affect users. Every time I’ve had trouble with the site (about 3 or 4 times a year), when I’ve deleted the cookies it has started working properly again.
  5. Hi vinyl:
    The definition is ‘seeds pasted’, I think.

    Sorry not to be around lately. But I’m watching all of you!

      1. Hi Olivia. We’ve moved from Poughkeepsie to Clinton recently, so we’re really neighbors now.
  6. ….and await the fixing of the SNITCH to see whether my time, although over my average, is actually a cause for satisfaction.

    TIME 11:15

  7. And why is everyone looking the other way? I think we deserve an answer as to why we had to wait so long for the Friday blog.

    Time c.50 minutes with an interruption for a fresh quill.

    FOI 18ac ADDS UP

    LOI 26ac PERP



    And Mr. SNITCH is injured!

    Edited at 2021-11-12 01:46 pm (UTC)

      1. Whenever a blog fails to appear on time, my first thought is that the stalwart volunteer has encountered some unforeseen last-minute obstacle—technical, circumstantial, or (God forbid) medical, and my heart goes out to them. As it happens, I did this one early enough to have been able to write it up if I had been asked. But the vigilant captain of this ship did not delegate the responsibility.

        Edited at 2021-11-12 06:18 pm (UTC)

        1. Sorry if I caused you undue concern a couple of Sundays ago! As I mentioned in the blog it was just because I forgot. None of us is perfect, and as vinyl points out the job doesn’t pay enough to demand perfection.
    1. In this case I didn’t so much forget as lose my keys and get locked out of my apartment for a day — some mother’s do ‘ave em! Things are returning to normal but it turns out that not having spare keys is an expensive business here in California. Oops.
      1. Forget the lost key, the lost blog, it’s the greengrocer’s apostrophe that needs addressing…
  8. An enjoyable puzzle, which I began with DATE and RELENT. I then jumped around the grid, but didn’t incur any ROAMING CHARGES. I managed to remember SADHU and TAHINI, with a bit of prompting from the wordplay. DIALECT finally allowed me to see what was going on in Norfolk, and I finished off in the NW with TARNISHED and DEPOSIT. 29:52. Thanks setter and Vinyl.
  9. Well pleased with my 34:06 on a Friday. Wow. FOI 1ac DATE then nothing for a while, worryingly, until it all started to flow. And some really good clues. I don’t know what to pick. I liked all four of the long ones, IN VOGUE and PARBOIL
  10. A steady solve today at 40 mins. Very enjoyable and I accept a little under the usual Friday torture. I very much liked BROAD-BASED, SWIMMING COSTUME, ELVEN and ROAMING CHARGES, all Great clues IMHO. Special mention though for the long anag at21 ac.

    LOI ARCADIA (didn’t like the I for “in”) after getting DIALECT.

    Thank you vinyl for the Friday blog, and setter.

  11. Off the wavelength in the grand scheme of things, particularly in the NE, but an enjoyable, well-crafted puzzle. Puzzled by the i in arcadia, and the whole cryptic in (well-known) payslip. Liked line up and parboil, but plenty of good ones: ticks to backseat driver and in vogue, despite not knowing if Stormont was NI, Dublin, or Edinburgh. Or ISle of Man, even – its parliament has featured, from memory?
    Thanks setter and emergency stand-in blogger.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 11:53 pm (UTC)

  12. Not the easiest of puzzles but I chipped away at it and eventually filled the grid with the correct answers in 46 minutes.

    My LOI was 9d where I thought of ROAMING as soon as I had the checkers in place but couldn’t make sense of it until CHARGES had occurred to me as perhaps the second word.

  13. 14:08 Not hard for a Friday. LOI FILAMENT, but only because it was last… mostly a steady solve once I’d got started. COD to SWIMMING COSTUME which made me laugh. Back in the early 1970s, believe it or not, we weren’t allowed to wear them in the school pool. Thanks vinyl and setter.
      1. Yes. My school as well. “Me Too”

        SUCH a shame it was a boys school …

        Edited at 2021-11-12 03:20 pm (UTC)

      2. One of my schoolmates was made to swim naked cos he forget his kit. Late Seventies. Traumatic, when everyone else was covered up. How were teachers allowed to get away with it? Great school but there were some bad apples
  14. Thanks for the smart locum work Vinyl. I was wondering about the IA on the and of ARCADIA but remembered Lady M’s admonition to her husband in the Scottish play where she tells him not to “let I dare not wait upon I would like the poor cat i’the adage”. 18.51
    1. The sixteenth century Hall i’th’Wood in Bolton even has a railway station named after it.
      1. You may well be Keriothe – I just had to learn the damn part once upon a time. I had no idea what an adage was back then and thought it was another word for alley.
        1. I was joking of course, and I am not at all: erudition requires a functioning memory, which I have never had. Macbeth is the Shakespeare play I know best, because I did it a school and one way or another it’s the one I’ve seen most often at the theatre over the years which has sort of topped up my failing memory. I had to learn the part of Richard III at school and I don’t really remember any of it.
          1. My claim to glory as a Shakespearean actor (as it were) was at school, exiting pursued by a bear in The Winter’s Tale. I wasn’t sure what to make of one of the teacher’s comments that I made a convincing old man in my portrayal of Antigonus.
            1. I’m just thankful that my school theatrical exploits happened long before the age of camera phones and social media.
  15. Well I was at half past seven this morning. 32 minutes. I liked ROAMING CHARGES but COD to BROAD- BASED. I’ve only ever known a FILAMENT in a light bulb so I’ve learnt something. I can remember riding the Liverpool Overhead Railway as a kid and I’ve walked the High Line in New York but I’ve never been on a railway/ railroad actually described as ELEVATED. I’d look on a SWIMMING COSTUME as something more basic than an ACCESSORY but I’m so old school. Excellent puzzle.Thank you V2 and setter.
    1. I’ve learnt from crosswords here that Chicago has one, often becoming “EL” in an answer… except, I see, the official name is actually ‘L’, as described here.

      Edited at 2021-11-12 07:30 pm (UTC)

      1. Whatever they may think in Chicago John in NYC there was the IRT Second Avenue El. Long since gone but before our time it used to run past our apartment building.
  16. No problems!
    Thanks to David Bowie, Vinyl and setter. Very nice!
    I do hope Verlaine is all right.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 06:02 pm (UTC)

  17. I thought this was a terrific puzzle and was sorry is was over so quickly. I particularly enjoyed the clever definitions, a hallmark of quality Times cryptics.
  18. Not too hard, my excuse for a long timing was that I was trying to do it on a windswept beach in Prestatyn. Nice to have TAHINI in there. My favourite on toast.
  19. I, too, liked the clever and well hidden literals, especially the Roaming Charges, and I quickly got used to reversing things after 13, 23, and 24a, and 1 and 8d. Thanks for the unknown Norfolk Broads, vinyl. Thanks for the whole thing, setter & ed. nice to hear from kevin-in-ny.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 04:42 pm (UTC)

  20. Although geographically we are much closer to Rhinebeck Kevin, for tax and voting purposes we’re on the left bank of Crum Elbow Creek so are counted in Clinton too.
      1. We’re 5 miles outside Rhinebeck in a deep valley but it would be nice to be in touch.
  21. It may be better now, but roaming charges were an infamous ripoff when travelling abroad.

    So, I think “dear” is part of the definition.

  22. I thought this was a terrific puzzle, too, though it took me 1 hour 18 minutes to finish it, a bit like wading through treacle (or molasses, if you prefer). My BACKSEAT DRIVER was …….. UNITED for the longest time, I couldn’t make sense of the US criminal until I understood PAYSLIP and all along the way there were other problems needing solving, very slowly. COD to the ELEVATED RAILWAY (as a line up) — at least that went in quickly. Delightful puzzle with many clever clues.
  23. If “in” can B “I”, as we C
    In ARCADIA, PERPlexingly
    Perhaps U R confused?
    (I’m completely bemused)
    Has our setter been taking the P?
  24. 9:51. I found this straightforward.
    I am steadily working my way through a book of old puzzles and yesterday BACKSEAT DRIVER appeared, which was a coincidence.
    I was a bit surprised by I for ‘in’. A bit Mephistoish, as has already been pointed out.
    TAHINI was no problem for a pretentious Ottolenghi-loving metropolitan elite champagne-socialist remoaner like me. I make hummus more or less every week.
    Hope all is well with verlaine.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 07:46 pm (UTC)

    1. I prefer to “par-roast” sesame seeds in the oven and grind them in the coffee grinder rather than buy tahini. Current favourite hummus of choice is made with home-made preserved lemons.
  25. Decent effort. Never sure when clues have so many words in them but this was a good ‘un.

    Caused issues by mombling FOREIGN CHARGES (eh?) and was struggling in the NW till DATE appeared.

    Liked the abandoned kids once I corrected my error

    Thanks Vinyl and setter

  26. A tough workout but finally stumbled over the line in just under an hour.
    Small point, but in the DD for Roaming Charges I think “dear” belongs to the first half rather than the children. Dear as in expensive.
    1. Let me be the third person to point that out here.

      Edited at 2021-11-12 08:40 pm (UTC)

  27. The blog wasn’t up when I went to bed at around 9pm NZ time so I’me coming in at the end of the day.
    No great dramas but thank you, vinyl, for FRESCO, DIALECT, DEPOSIT and ARCADIA. I’ve never attacked the Mephisto so I didn’t know i was an acceptable abbreviation of in.
    26ac makes me think of a couple of notable ‘perp walks’ such as those undertaken by Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Harvey Weinstein.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 10:24 pm (UTC)

  28. Fun crossword. Spend ages on the “roaming” of ROAMING CHARGES for some reason, my LOI (are roaming charges still a thing?). I think “dear” is part of the definition, since roaming charges were famously steep.

    Oh, I just noticed a couple of other people already pointed this out.

    Also, to me an ICE PICK is something you use to break up ice for your G&T. An ICE AXE is what you use to get up a snow slope.

    Edited at 2021-11-12 10:38 pm (UTC)

  29. Started late this evening and all done in 31.46. Stretching but very enjoyable. LOI perp after finally giving up on payroll in favour of payslip- without really knowing why. So thanks blogger for the explanation.

    Thanks setter for a good , fair challenge.

  30. I live about 40 miles from Verlaine. But I don’t know his phone number, so I can’t check in with him. I assume he is OK since it is more likely than all the bad things, so we will see when he checks back in.
  31. About 30 mins but with LIGAMENT instead of filament. Those LA Men could have had a spurious IGT about them somewhere.

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